Monday, March 5, 2012

How it All Started: The Ashley Version

So when I decided to try the vegan life, I thought to myself. I can do this. 
I'm a girl so I've tried diets (Weight Watchers, South Beach.  South Beach worked for me, WW didn't.  But it's vise versa for most people I know).  Many believe that a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is dangerously unhealthy - unrealistic, unneccessary and lacking in nutrients.  But... ya know.  There's a lot of unhealthy food out there.  And to each his own.  I think it's true that you're most likely to be successful by just being conscious of what you put in your mouth and exercising regularly.  But who am I?
I think of myself as always having been a relatively healthy eater. I mean I'm not the best but I'm not the worst.  One of my roommates my junior year of college was very much into health and fitness and not unlike Kerry's choices, her lifestyle rubbed off on me.  I started being more aware of what exactly I was eating, eating more of a variety of foods, and switching to the healthier versions of the foods I liked.  And I've continued since.  I even took a couple health science courses as electives in college.  (In addition to psychology and photography... Why did I major in Comm again?)
I rarely eat red meat - maybe a steak and a burg or two a year.  Seafood is something I just discovered I like a couple years ago and I enjoy getting it on occasion when I'm out on the town - sushi dates have become the highlight of an otherwise dull work week ever since my roomies introduced me to the stuff a few months back.  Chicken I eat most often.  Chicken will be missed.  But I'll live.  I can do this.  Thankfully, there's a lot of vegan alternatives to many (though not all) of the foods we love.  How they compare?  I can't tell ya yet.  But I'll keep you posted.  Luckily, I love trying new things.  New food?  Bring it on. (except tofu still creeps me out, Kerry's gonna have to hide it in a meal and tell me about it later.) 
I happen to have three cousins who are vegetarian so at the holidays they always have their own dishes.  And yes, I always try theirs too.  And yes, they're always phenom.
So the vegetarian part of vegan I can adjust to.  It's the vegan part that scares me a little.  I love dairy. Yogurt, milk,  cheese - um hello is cheese not on everything?  And incredible edible (unless you're vegan) eggs.  And and my personal weakness... dessert.  There are vegan recipes for these (don't think I didn't check).  But still.  Ouch.  That hurts my sweet tooth. 
But I can do this.  I'm up for the challenge.  I keep telling myself it's only 31 days.  But in those 31 days, I may just feel better, drop a couple el be's, and most definitely learn something.

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